Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Health Care in America

Obama has pledged more for computers to "modernize" the health care industry than to pay for poor people's health care.

The plan is to have a nationwide computer network with every American's private medical information in it. What could be the downside to that?

Newsweek has an article about the whistleblower who tried to warn America that the Bush administration was spying on their every electronic word. (As an aside, the way they spin it is disgraceful. Quoting "both sides" means giving equal weight to the spying lying deceivers, who hide their misdeeds under "national security" and those who realize that you cannot have a free country in which the government has secrets while the people have none).

In this case, the government spied and then Congress, to their utmost disgrace, changed the law to make it retroactively legal.

But the groundwork had been set when the telecommunications sector consolidated and the means to spy on everyone was physically made possible. Remember the old days, when a "bug" on a telephone had to be physically placed there? When technology made it possible to spy on everyone, everyone became spied upon.

I work in the medical industry. Patient confidentiality was always a rule. Heck, patients couldn't look at their own charts! It was always unethical to reveal confidential material.

But now we have the HIPAA law, ostensibly to "protect" patient privacy, but not really. Like so many of recent laws, this is a misnomer, a subterfuge, a back door to open patient records to people who didn't have that right before. Check it out, especially the part about "national security or intelligence purposes" (page 13) and "proper exectution of a military mission" (page 8). Now we have a stupid situation where we can't tell a patient's grandma that he's there, but we can tell the cops and the military!

But here's the thing - there is no national computer network of medical information for the spies to tap into. In this case, we have the law making it legal to spy, but no physical means to do so. This is what Obama wants to change.

For those who are opposed to governmental spying, and not only because they don't want groups of spy grunts giggling over their phone sex recordings, having a national network of medical information is not a good idea for privacy! Remember that Nixon had to have burgulars physically break into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office for his records. What they want is for the NSA to be able to read everyone's private medical information without leaving Maryland.

Obama selling this as a money saver is ludicrous, on a par with the threat that Saddam Hussein could drop a mushroom cloud on Chicago!

My not being able to access medical records in Oregon, or vice versa, has nothing to do with the price of medical care. It is absurd to claim such a thing.

Mainstream media won't point out the obvious - this is being sold to us on false pretenses and will make us pay billions, again, for our own oppression.

Are we going to wait for the whistleblower from the future to point out the abuses of this system or are we going to stop it now? Oppose the national computerized medical data system!